Facebook plans to buy back $6 billion in stock

This is Facebook’s first stock buyback since going public.

Facebook will buy back as much as $6 billion in stock from shareholders beginning in the first quarter of 2017, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday.

Usually a stock buyback program is a way to repay investors with cash currently sitting in the bank. Facebook does not offer a dividend, and never has, but it does have $26 billion in cash and marketable securities, according to its latest earnings filing.

Facebook might also feel its stock is undervalued and want to bring some of it back in-house. Either way, this is Facebook’s first stock buyback to date.

Also reported to the SEC Friday: Facebook’s chief accounting officer, Jas Athwal, has resigned after nine years. He’ll leave the company in mid-February.

Facebook stock is up about 1 percent in after-hours trading.

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